Late Entries to a Survey of Bestiaries

The staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House assembled a survey of one hundred bestiaries, posting an entry on their blog for each day from June 1, 2016 to September 8, 2016. When they were done, there were additional bestiaries that they did not want to omit entirely. This page lists latecomers to the survey added monthly in 2023.


January 7, 2023
The Botanical Bestiary
authors: Matt Cavanaugh
interior artists: Sita Duncan
cover artist: Sita Duncan
publisher: Inky Cap Press
publication date: December, 2022
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 76
ISBN-10: 0-01-157455-0
ISBN-13: 2-370011-574554
description: This bestiary contains descriptions of 65 leshies, each based on a different type of plant. It is compatible with the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Role Playing Game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the aloe leshy.

Originating from the Arabian Peninsula, the 500 species of aloe can now be found growing almost anywhere warm. Aloe is a succulent, with gel filled leaves capable of storing large amounts of water. These leaves have been used for millennia as treatment for skin damage, especially sunburns and minor irritation, and aloe is commonly cultivated for its gel and latex.

Typically found in desert and tropical environments, Aloe Leshies function as healers in small settlements, soothing minor injuries with traditional remedies. If provoked, the Aloe Leshy will leave enemies slipping, sliding, and open to attack from its spiky leaves. Enhanced water-retention affords a strong protection against the heat, both natural and magical in origin.

February 4, 2023
Boo's Astral Menagerie
lead designer: Christopher Perkins
interior artists Zoltan Boros et al.
cover artists: Justin Gerard
publisher: Wizards of the Coast
publication date: 2022
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 64
ISBN-10: 0-7869-6816-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-7869-6816-9
description: This book was part of the Spelljammer: Adventures in Space set that also included Astral Adventurer's Guide rulebook, Light of Xaryxis adventure, a dungeon master's screen and a slipcase. This bestiary contains more than sixty space-dwelling creatures. This book is compatible with the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Role Playing Game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the reigar.

Reigar are androgynous folk who evolved into a humanoid shape from a species of cephalopods similar to octopi. They have bioluminescent freckles and the ability to change the coloration of their skin. A glory (or halo) surrounds each of them. This magical display is a cloud of twinkling, glittering motes that changes color randomly and repels attacks.

Reigar don't trust one another, which has been the case ever since they destroyed their home world in a war that ended with a cataclysmic event called the Master Stroke. The planet's destruction was the culmination of a plot to create the most beautiful display of carnage the multiverse had ever seen. Reigar exist solely to make art and wage war. They consider warfare to be the highest form of artistic endeavor, and every act of violence they commit is done with the intent of creating something beautiful.

Reigar wander Wildspace and the Astral Sea in search of artistic inspiration, traveling in symbiotic organic ships that they create (see "Esthetic" earlier in this book). Each reigar possesses a magic item called a talarith, which it created and to which it alone can attune. If this object is lost or destroyed, it takes 1d10+20 days for the reigar to craft another one.

March 4, 2023
The Fairy Universe
authors: Laurent and Olivier Souillé
interior artist: Olivier Ledroit
cover artist: Olivier Ledroit
publisher: Ablaze
publication date: 2022
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 112
ISBN-10: 1-950912-51-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-950912-51-3
description: This artbook contains descriptions of many fairies, elves and fey creatures. It is not associated with any particular role playing game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the fairy, Absinthe.

This fairy, with shining eyes and a disturbing gaze, was born from a most dangerous liquor: absinthe. Many men have tried to seduce her, including the brilliant Toulouse-Lautrec who was overwhelmed by her appearance. He desired her greedilyr but the whimsical fairy always refused him.

lntoxicated by her extreme beauty and her consummate art of seduction, many young suitors lost their minds. The uneducated think that absinthe is extracted from a particularly rare aromatic plant. What a mistake! The essence of this nectar is a tear from the strange lady. Be careful not to abuse it, however, as this alcohol has driven entire generations mad, except for a few lucky ones who have gone blind.

April 1, 2023
Starfinder Interstellar Species
authors: Rigby Bendele et al.
interior artists: Sergio Cosmai et al.
cover artist: Ignacio Bazán Lazcano
publisher: Paizo
publication date: 2022
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 192
ISBN-10: 1-64078-473-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-473-4
description: Chapter 2 of this volume contains 25 in-depth entries describing playable races. Chapter 3 presents forty pages of non-player characters. This work is compatible with the Starfinder Role Playing Game.

Our featured entry from this volume is the astrazoan.

With unclear origins and no home world to call their own, astrazoans have dispersed throughout the Pact Worlds and beyond to join the galaxy's cosmopolitan tapestry. However, astrazoans only rarely show their true forms to non-astrazoans. Instead, most live their lives as humans, lashuntas, vesk, and other creatures of the Pact Worlds, preferring a semblance of anonymity and not wanting to shock their neighbors' humanoid sensibilities with astrazoans' peculiar appearances. After centuries of Drift travel and trade, most humanoids are accustomed to extremely varied life-forms, yet the astrazoan tradition of polite secrecy persists.

When an astrazoan lies flat on their belly, they resemble a radially symmetrical starfish with seven limbs, weighing up to 180 pounds and having a diameter of 9 feet from the tip of one limb to the tip of an opposing limb. In practice, an astrazoan usually walks upright on five limbs, standing about 6 feet tall, with the remaining two limbs reserved to hold and manipulate objects.

Natural skin color varies, typically being some variant of dun, orange, or umber. To the touch, an astrazoan's skin is rough like sandpaper due to its thousands of dermal papillae that the astrazoan can control to replicate a wide range of surface textures and colors. Each arm has a large eye embedded about halfway down its length along the astrazoan's backside. Individually, an eye provides limited visual data, and an astrazoan must orient at least four eyes in the same direction to form a clear image.

The only other distinct feature on an astrazoan's natural body is its mouth, located at the center of their underside. The mouth has a small, retractable beak able to tear apart tougher foods; however, much digestion occurs externally, with an astrazoan expelling their stomach to envelop their food and secrete powerful enzymes into the partly chewed meal. Afterward, they retract the stomach along with the softened food. Like their stomach, an astrazoan's other organs are also quite mobile, ab1e to be shunted around the body as needed.

In fact, nearly all of an astrazoan's body can shift, contort, and invert as needed. The skeleton is cartilaginous and able to disarticulate temporarily, providing some structure and considerable fl exibility. Their jellylike flesh is comprised of long muscle fibers that can dislocate, flow, and realign into new configurations as needed, allowing them to squeeze through narrow openings and close wounds with ease. Along with their dermal papillae and countless chromatophores, an astrazoan can transform into a variety of functional shapes with extraordinary precision. Once locked into a new form, involuntary muscles help maintain the shape, even if an astrazoan become unconscious...

May 6, 2023
The Encyclopedia of Demons & Devils
authors: Timothy Brown et al.
interior artists: Jack Nichols et al.
cover artist: William W. Connors
publisher: Fast Forward Entertainment
publication date: 2001
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 224
ISBN-10: 0-9713234-3-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-9713234-3-8
catalog number: FAF 2004
description: This book contains entries for 172 tanar'ri (demons) and baatezu (devils). This book is compatible with the d20 Role Playing Game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the succubus.

A Succubus is any one of a group of evil demi-goddesses who are, together, referred to as "the Succubi." Medieval folklore says that each one of these frightening sisters possesses similar powers, traits, personality, and appearance. They dwell in their own dread domain, halfway between nightmares and reality. Their true names are not known to mortals, and thus they are all called "Succubus" by those who fear them.

In her demonic form, a Succubus appears to be an extraordinarily beautiful, naked woman with batwings, fangs, and blazing eyes. She is seldom seen in this form, though. Usually, she uses her polymorph self power to appear as a perfectly formed woman of the same race as her victim.

A Succubus lives to cause dissent among mortals by seducing them, turning them against their friends, family, and gods, and thus destroying their lives even as she drains away their life energy. She is an intelligent monster, and very crafty. Many centuries of practice have made her expert at using her numerous abilities to their utmost.

Typically, a mortal first encounters a Succubus when entering her lair (usually underground) or when the demon uses her telepathic abilities to enter the victim's dreams. The succubus ranges far at night-sometimes physically, other times with her mental powers-searching for victims.

Once a succubus encounters a suitable victim, she will use her limited telepathy to discover the most desirable form to take to seduce him. She then uses polymorph self to assume a form that is most pleasing to her victim. Next, she uses .her telepathic projection power to insert herself into the victim's dreams. In these dreams, she will always make herself interesting to the victim - perhaps she is a princess waiting to be rescued, perhaps a lusty barmaid, perhaps a deposed queen...

June 3, 2023
The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons: A Field Guide to Japanese Yōkai
author: Matthew Meyer
interior artist Matthew Meyer
cover artists: N.A.
publisher: Matthew Meyer
publication date: 2012
cover: softcover
number of pages: 224
ISBN-10: 0-9852184-2-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-9852184-2-3
description: This book contains over 110 creatures from Japanese folklore.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the Mikoshi nyūdō.

TRANSLATION: anticipating priest
ALTERNATE NAMES: mikoshi, miage nyūdō, takabōzu
HABITAT: bridges, roads, streets; especially at night
DIET: omnivorous; prefers travelers

APPEARANCE: Mikoshi nyūdō are fearsome yōkai who appear late at night to lone travelers on empty streets, intersections, or bridges. They appear to be harmless traveling priests or monks, no taller than an ordinary person; but in an instant they grow abnormally tall, with long claws and hair like a wild beast.

BEHAVIOR: As soon as a person raises his eyes to look upon a mikoshi nyūdō, the giant grows to an immense height—as tall the observer is able to raise his eyes, and just as fast. This causes the person to look up so high and fast that they lose their balance and tumble backwards. That's when the mikoshi nyūdō lunges forward and bites their throat out with its teeth.

INTERACTIONS: Those unfortunate enough to meet this cruel yōkai usually do not live to tell the tale. Much depends on the person's reaction. If they try to ignore and walk past the mikoshi nyūdō, the angry giant will crush them or pierce them with bamboo spears and branches. The same fate is met by those who turn and try to run away. People who stare at the mikoshi nyūdō frozen in fear will drop dead on the spot, overcome by its presence.

The only possible escape is to anticipate the mikoshi nyūdō (thus its name). Meet it face-to-face, eye-to-eye, and show no fear. Then, look from its head down to its feet, rather than starting at the feet and looking up. If done properly, the giant's power to grow will be sapped. Telling the giant, "You lost! I anticipated your trick!" causes it to vanish in anger, leaving the traveler to pass safely along.

OTHER FORMS: Mikoshi nyūdō is a popular form of some shape-shifting animals. In particular, itachi and tanuki transform into these giants in order to hunt humans. Kitsune and mujina are known to occasionally take this form as well, ~hough less often. When a mikoshi nyūdō is result of a transformation, it carries a bucket, a lantern, or some other tool. This tool is where the shapeshifter's true body is stored. If you can snatch the object away from the giant before it attacks, the spell is broken and the transformed yōkai will be at its captor's mercy.

July 1, 2023
The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits: An Encyclopedia of Mononoke and Magic
author: Matthew Meyer
interior artist Matthew Meyer
cover artists: N.A.
publisher: Matthew Meyer
publication date: 2015
cover: softcover
number of pages: 286
ISBN-10: 0-9852184-3-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-9852184-3-0
description: This book contains over 120 creatures from Japanese folklore.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the shirime.

ALTERNATE NAMES: nuppori bōzu
HABITAT: city streets, late at night
DIET: none; it just enjoys scaring people

APPEARANCE: From a distance, shirime appear to be normal human beings. When close enough, however, it becomes apparent that they are yokai. Shirime have no facial features, but located in their buttholes are large eyes which shine like lightning.

BEHAVIOR: Shirime approach travelers on the road late at night, looking like men wearing a kimonos. Once they have your attention, they ask if you have a moment to spare. Before you can answer, the shirime drops its kimono to the ground and bends over, spreading its butt cheeks and revealing the giant, shining eye located inside of its butthole. Other than this very startling behavior, shirime do not do anything harmful. They appear to thrive solely on the joy of scaring people.

ORIGIN: There are few documented encounters with shirime. Because of its alternate name (nuppori bōzu) and its shocking behavior, it is very likely that shirime are close relatives of the faceless nopperabō. In that case, a shirime's true form may simply be a shape-shifted animal playing a practical joke on humans.

August 5, 2023
The Book of the Hakutaku: A Bestiary of Japanese Monsters
author: Matthew Meyer
interior artist Matthew Meyer
cover artists: N.A.
publisher: Matthew Meyer
publication date: 2018
cover: softcover
number of pages: 228
ISBN-10: 0-9852184-5-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-9852184-5-4
description: This book contains over 110 creatures from Japanese folklore.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the kotobuki.

TRANSLATION: congratulations, long life
HABITAT: unknown; supposedly lives in India
DIET: unknown; likely herbivorous

APPEARANCE: The kotobuki is an auspicious chimerical beast whose body is made up of parts from the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. It has the head of a rat, the ears of a hare, the horns of an ox, the comb of a rooster, the beard of a sheep, the mane of a horse, the neck of a dragon, the back of a boar, the shoulders and belly of a tiger, the front legs of a monkey, the rear legs of a dog, and the tail of a snake. A number of alternate versions exist as well, swapping the body parts for different zodiacal animals.

ORIGIN: The kotobuki first appeared in the Edo period. Woodblock prints of it were popular gifts. Little explanation about the creature was included in these prints, other than that it was said to come from India and could understand human speech. Merely possessing an image of the kotobuki was believed to protect a person from sickness and disease and bring good fortune to their home.

Good luck charms featuring the various animals of the zodiac were popular in the Edo period, especially during the New Year season. While it is traditional to give presents and display artwork with the new year's zodiac sign on it, an image with all twelve zodiac signs was even luckier. Even without any explanation, people recognized the twelve zodiac animals hidden in this beast. Furthermore, the word kotobuki connotes celebration and congratulations. This made the kotobuki instantly identifiable as a powerful and auspicious creature.

September 2, 2023
The Fox's Wedding
author: Matthew Meyer
interior artist Matthew Meyer
cover artists: N.A.
publisher: Matthew Meyer
publication date: 2021
cover: softcover
number of pages: 236
ISBN-10: 0-9852184-5-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-9852184-7-8
description: This book contains over 110 creatures from Japanese folklore.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the yonaki ishi.

TRANSLATION: night-crying stone

APPEARANCE: Yonaki ishi look like ordinary boulders which cry like babies at night. In many cases, the stones cry because they are possessed by the vengeful spirit of a murder victim. However, sometimes it is the stone itself that cries and not a person's spirit haunting it. The most famous yonaki ishi legend comes from Kakegawa City in Shizuoka Prefecture.

BEHAVIOR: Yonaki ishi imitate the cries of a human baby, attracting people with the sound.

LEGENDS: Long ago, a pregnant woman was walking home through steep mountains. She reached the Sayo no Nakayama Pass when stopped to rest. Leaning against a large round boulder to catch her breath, she was suddenly accosted by a bandit. He slashed her belly with his blade and would have cut through her if his sword hadn't struck the boulder she rested on. The bandit robbed her and fled back into the woods. The woman bled to death against the boulder.

Because the blade struck the rock, the baby was not injured in the attack. He crawled out from his mother's body through the wound. Although the mother was dead, her soul was so worried about her child that it could not pass on. It got stuck in the boulder. From then on, every night the boulder would cry loudly. A priest from a nearby temple heard the crying. When he went to investigate, he discovered a newborn baby lying beside the boulder. The priest took the baby back to his temple and raised him, naming him Otohachi.

When Otohachi grew up he was apprenticed to a sword sharpener. After many years he became an accomplish sword sharpener as well. One day, a samurai came to Otohachi and ordered him to repair a chipped katana. Otohachi asked the samurai how such a terrible crack had appeared in the blade. The samurai casually explained that the blade had been chipped many years earlier when he had accidentally struck a stone in the Sayo no Nakayama Pass. Otohachi realized that the samurai was none other than the bandit who murdered his mother. Otohachi stood up, introduced himself, and then cut down the samurai.

Today, the yonaki ishi is known as one of the Seven Wonders of Shizuoka.

October 7, 2023
The Dragon Universe
authors: Jean-Baptiste Monge, Pascal Moguérou with Laurent & Olivier Souillé
interior artists: Jean-Baptiste Monge, Olivier Ledroit et al.
cover artist: Olivier Ledroit
publisher: Ablaze
publication date: 2022
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 200
ISBN-10: 1-950912-50-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-950912-50-6
description: This artbook contains descriptions of many dragons and related creatures. It is not associated with any particular role playing game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is Mara, the dark girl of rain, and her sluargh companion.

In the Kamalan desert, there had been no rain since Mara was abandoned. Her mother had died in childbirth, and no one knew who her father was. Lamahetan, the clan shaman, had cast the runes that evening and they revealed sinister omens. The council decided that the child had to be removed or else the desert gods would take offense, and death and disease would fall on the village. Yet Lamahetan opposed the decision and stood up to the whole council. The runes were bad, but if madness had taken over the world, it was not about the child, and according to her, the child should not be abandoned, or she would pay the price one day. The shaman watched over the child until she was six years old.

Unfortunately, old age and the illness eating at her bones took the senior woman away one evening. In the morning, the village chief saw this as a sinister omen and took the child to the mountains.

Mara should have died by the sun or the wild beasts, but luck or fate once again came to her aid. The first few nights were terribly painful. Mara hunkered down in a cave with terror as her only companion, jumping at every wild beast's roar that tore through the night. Luckily, water dripped from the rock at the bottom of the cave, allowing her to quench her thirst, but it was hunger that forced her to leave her refuge. The desert does not coddle its children, but for those who know how to look where they need to, it conceals many treasures and comes alive at sunset. Lamahetan had shown it to Mara and despite her young age, the child had not lost a beat. She had just gotten used to her new environment when she had a strange encounter ...

A small sluargh with an injured wing and deadly hunger had taken shelter in her den. Mara's first intention was to kill it for food, but she thought better of it; the animal was so small, so cute, and seemed quite harmless. Besides, she felt terribly lonely, and come to think of it, the sluarghs were intelligent and excellent hunters as well.

Once again, fate turned the wheel in Mara's favor. The little sluargh recovered quickly and a real bond and strong attachment was born between these two very different beings. Time passed filled with dangers, games, and hunting. The sluargh had grown enormously and Mara felt that she might soon be able to fly on its back.

She knew he would let himself be ridden the day she wrapped her thin, muscular thighs around his strong neck. The world would then be theirs. They would rule heaven and earth, she with her cunning and innate intelligence as a wild woman, and he with his power and hunting skills. In all the desert villages, they soon spoke only of the woman with the sluargh who called herself in a guttural language, "Mara, the dark girl of rain." She had first started by finding her village and then landed at nightfall in the middle of the filthy shacks. The sky had become strangely overcast above her, and the rain, as if to celebrate her return, began to fall. The villagers, at first frightened, then incredulous, and ultimately amazed by this double miracle falling from the sky, finally approached. They sent for the chief, but his hut was empty and only Mara was not surprised. The day before, her sluargh had taken only one bite ...

Since then, Mara reigns alone over the desert, protected by her most faithful friend and all her descendants. In all the villages she is revered as a goddess, she takes what she wants but never more than she needs. And no more children have been offered to the desert.

Excerpt from "Chronicles of the Old World" by Ourouk el Nasrim

November 4, 2023
Faries of the Faultines, Expanded Edition
author: Iris Compiet
interior artist: Iris Compiet
cover artist: Iris Compiet
publisher: Eye of Newt Books
publication date: 2021
cover: harcover
number of pages: 184
ISBN-10: 1-7770817-2-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-7770817-2-0
description: This volume contains descriptions of numerous creatures from around the realm of faerie, including, of course, many varieties of faeries, as well as fauns, mandrakes, witches, trolls, gnomes, hobgoblins, brownies and mermaids.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is a faerie from the discussion of faeries who possess insect-like traits.

Once,I spotted a few peculiar faeries with insect-like properties.

Some of the creatures I saw had compound eyes while others had skin covered in tiny scales like the wings of a butterfly. These scales are responsible for their chromatic changes and aid in their protection and insulation. Although their butterfly-like tongues suggested they feed on nectar, I've witnessed some of them using their viscoelastic tongue to feast on other faeries.

December 2, 2023
Bigby Presents Glory of the Giants
lead designer: James Wyatt
interior artists Carlo Arellano et al.
cover artist: Cynthia Sheppard
publisher: Wizards of the Coast
publication date: 2023
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 192
ISBN-10: 0-7869-6898-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-7869-6898-5
description: Chapter 6 of this book contains over 70 creatures related to giants. This book is compatible with the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Role Playing Game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the death giant shrouded one.

Long ago, a large band of cloud giants traveled to the Shadowfell in search of a way to preserve their collapsing empire. Desperate to save themselves and their way of life, they collectively made a bet with the Raven Queen, a mysterious god of death and memory who dwells on that plane. Accounts of that bet and its outcome vary: some say the Raven Queen answered every riddle the giants posed until the giants collapsed from exhaustion, while others describe a series of increasingly improbable events favoring the Raven Queen in every wager. What is certain is that the giants severely underestimated the Raven Queen. When they lost their wager, the Shadowfell became their home, and they have grudgingly served the Raven Queen ever since.

Over time, the Shadowfell transformed these giants; their bodies shriveled, and their complexions took on a deep-purple hue. They became the first death giants, and their descendants haunt the Shadowfell to this day, searching both that plane and the Material Plane for souls that might please their divine queen.

A death giant shrouded one has learned the secrets of death magic-some say from the Raven Queen herself. A shrouded one collects the skulls of fallen kin and inscribes the death rune on a prized skull from this grisly collection. Abandoning armor in favor of gloomy robes, the shrouded one uses rune magic to create a shadowy scythe blade at the end of a staff and to conjure an aura of tormented souls for protection.

more galleries